torsdag, oktober 16, 2008

Den stora islamistiska offensiven mot yttrandefriheten

Lawful Islamism's Greatest Attack Yet
- The OIC Resolution Against Defaming Religion
By Supna Zaidi
Have you seen the little old lady who passes out
Jehovah's Witness literature in your neighborhood?
Some people stop and show interest. Others roll
their eyes, and keep walking. But, would you ever
expect anyone to threaten her? Call her a racist,
and try to get her arrested?
Islamists would. And that is exactly what happened
to two English Christian ministers who had the
nerve to proselytize on a street corner in a pre-
dominantly Muslim immigrant area in the UK
in 2007.
Such freedom of speech violations won't be an
anomaly if the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC), which has a permanent
delegation to the United Nations, succeeds in
passing a UN resolution against "Defamation of
Religion". Noboby in a western country will be
able to discuss the socio-political consequences
of Muslim immigration, for fear of being labeled
"Islamophobic" and slapped with a fine, or even
jail time.
Islamists are increasingly using lawful Islamism,
or non-violent and legal strategies to spread
Sharia, (Islamic law) in the West, encroaching
on non-Muslim life everyday. Other examples
1. Sharia Finance;
2. Islam in public schools;
3. Violations of basic hygiene policy by
Muslim medical staff;
4. Workplace violations in the name of
religious freedom;
5. Censorship of literature.
Under the banner of "religious freedom," Islamists
attack the very fabric of democracy in favor of
Islam in the public sphere. The above examples
are not examples of pluralism, but a violation of
the separation of church and state doctrine meant
to keep people of all faiths, or no faith, equal under
the law. Liberals have forgotten that secularism is
not a free-for-all, but has boundaries in order to
remain meaningful.
Freedom of speech has already been attacked
repeatedly. Islamists tried to censor criticism
of Islamist terrorism when the Muhammad
cartoons were published in Jyllands-Posten
in 2005. Strangely enough, the "cartoon intifada"
arose 5 months after their original printing, but
only weeks before the UNHCR was due to consider
the OIC's resolution on "Combating Defamation
of Religion."
Such a coincidence caused the National Secular
Society to state in its Memorandum (Section
E, point 2) to the UK Parliament that, the Danish
cartoon crisis was manufactured… to exploit
sensitivities around racial discrimination and to
promote (or even exaggerate) the notion of
"Islamophobia" in order to restrict possibilities
for open discussion or criticism of Islam….measures
calling for legislation banning "defamation of religion"
- …. aims to remove religion, especially Islam, from
public scrutiny and public debate.
If any religion is to be integrated into the daily
social, economic and political life of a nation, it
must open the door for evaluation of its goals
and application. Otherwise, OIC nations will be
able to govern unilaterally without respect to
international law.
Consider the following precedent.
Saudi Arabia ratified the UN Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW) in 2000, with reservations,
stating, "In case of contradiction between any
term of the Convention and the norms of Islamic
law, the Kingdom is not under obligation to
observe the contradictory terms of the Convention."
Thus, Saudi Arabia confirms that it will only offer
lip service to human rights by signing documents
like the CEDAW charter. It will not actually
improve the status of women, because it is a
theocracy, and every move a woman makes is
governed by Islamic law. CEDAW can do nothing
for them. Moreover, if the Defamation of Religion
resolution is passed, all human rights activists will
feel even greater censorship, since protests from
abroad will be construed as racism.
Consider the "Qatif girl" case.
A Saudi girl was gang-raped in 2005 and blamed
for it, since she was in the presence of unrelated
men when it happened. Her attorney lost his license
for challenging the Saudi courts. Only after
generating global media pressure did the situation
change in her favor. The king pardoned her and
the attorney got his license reinstated. In a post-
Defamation of Religion world, the attorney would
have been trapped, unable to help the girl and
disbarred if he dared to challenge Saudi Islamic law.
Lastly, the OIC resolution must fail because it is
patently hypocritical. While professing great
sensitivity toward religion, OIC members
ironically regularly fail to show any respect
for other faiths:
1. Saudi Arabia continues to use
bigoted textbooks, and export
them to American Islamic
schools despite promises to change.
2. Iran sponsored a Holocaust cartoon
contest in retaliation for the Danish
cartoons of Muhammad in 2005.
Yet, Jews had nothing to do with
the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
3. Pakistan's blasphemy laws attack
Christians as a pretext for personal disputes.
The Defamation of Religion resolution is a free
pass for Islamists to continue denigrating other
religions and minorities through lawful Islamism.
It ties the hands of any politician that questions
the spread of Islamism in the West, and prevents
critical evaluation of the treatment of women and
minorities in Muslim societies.
Liberal and conservative citizens of the
West must work together to prevent this
resolution from passing in the UN.
(Supna Zaidi is editor-in-chief of Muslim World
Today and asst director of Islamist Watch at
the Middle East Forum)
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.